Vanarama National League North
Promotion Play-off Final
North Ferriby 2 AFC Fylde1 (after extra time)
Scorers NFU: Wayne Brooksby 45+3; Danny Hone 96
AFC Fylde: Sam Finley 23
The magnificent Villagers have done it. They have reached the highest level of non-league football!
It took extra-time to defeat a resilient AFC Fylde but The Villagers thoroughly deserved the victory. They had by far the greater possession and territory throughout the whole game and created more chances than Fylde.
Ferriby’s defence was superb with Ash Palmer and Danny Hone outstanding in the centre. The midfield largely controlled the game and harried and hassled Fylde when they did have possession. Tom Denton up front did a great job with his mixture of flicks and ball control.
Ferriby had the better of the first-half but managed to go in only level at the interval.
The Villagers opened brightly and Curtis Bateson had two shots saved by Matt Urwin in the first three minutes. Bateson was a thorn in the Fylde defence until he went off injured after 31 minutes.
Fylde almost snatched the lead on seven minutes but Adam Nicklin managed to tip Danny Rowe’s low shot for a corner.
The next 15 minutes were all Ferriby but they created only two attempts on goal. Tom Denton saw a header go just over the bar before Bateson curled a shot just past the top corner of the goal.
Against the run of play, Fylde took the lead after 23 minutes. Ferriby conceded an unnecessary corner which was taken by James Hardy. Nicklin missed his punch and as the ball flew around the area it finally reached Sam Finley who tapped home from close range. The goal gave Fylde a bit of a lift but they did not actually offer any serious goal threat.
Bateson and Danny Clarke tormented the Fylde defence and it was unfortunate for Ferriby that Bateson had to be substituted by Russ Fry.
Ferriby raised their tempo again and Urwin produced a great flying save to deny Fry’s powerful shot from 20 yards. Bolder took the corner and Hone was unfortunate top see his downward header come back off the post.
Just when it looked as if The Villagers would go in a goal down at the interval they found a little bit of magic. Denton released Adam bolder on the left and his low cross was hammered home by Wayne Brooksby at the far post. It was no more than Ferriby deserved.
The second-half largely belonged to Ferriby but they could not force Urwin in to a save. They had only two efforts on goal through Brooksby and Bolder.
Equally, Fylde could not draw a save from Nicklin. They had three shots blocked in quick succession half-way through the half. Fylde somehow managed to raise their tempo in the closing minutes and substitute Dion Charles wasted a glorious chance in the final minute of added time. Had that gone in it would have been rough justice on Ferriby.
And so to extra-time. Perhaps it was to be expected. Ferriby never seem to do things the easy way.
Clarke almost broke through on 93 minutes but the ball just ran away from him to Urwin.
Ferriby were not to be denied for much longer. Bolder’s nicely flighted free-kick was met by Hone His header was parried by Urwin but Hone reacted quickly to score from the rebound.
Again, neither keeper was seriously tested until the second period. Bohan Dixon drew a great save from Nicklin with a 20-yard shot. Fylde thought they had equalised but the “goal” was disallowed for off-side.
The final 10 minutes were frenetic and end-to-end but Ferriby were not to be denied. The final whistle drew massive sheers from Ferriby’s fans as the seemingly impossible had happened. The Villagers are in the top tier of non-league football.
Ferriby boss Billy Heath commented,
“It is an absolutely unbelievable achievement to get promotion. People don’t realise the magnitude of what we have done. We’ve been up against bigger clubs which have larger squads and resources.
“These players don’t know when to give in and stop. They are a credit to the club.
“it’s been a magnificent four seasons. An FA Trophy win, a league title, promotion today, two runner’s up seasons and two league cup wins. It’s the sort of thing you can only usually dream of.”
North Ferriby United: Adam Nicklin, Sam Topliss (Ben Middleton 105 , Josh Wilde, Liam King, Ash Palmer, Danny Hone, Danny Clarke, Adam Bolder, Tom Denton, Wayne Brooksby, Curtis Bateson (Russ Fry 31(Danny Emerton 90)): Subs not used: Ryan Kendall, Mark Gray
AFC Fylde: Matt Urwin, Caspar Hughes, Stephen Craney, Josh Langley, Tom Hannigan, Brad Barnes (Bohan Dixon 97), Matty Hughes (Danny Lloyd 86), Sam Finley, Danny Rowe, Richie Baker, James Hardy (Dion Charles 45), Subs not used: Matt Blinkhorn, Ben Hinchliffe